Monday, April 17, 2017

Death Force (1978)

Crazy exploitation film has three friends, Doug Russell, Morelli and McGee smuggling some goods and make a killing in the aftermath of the Vietnam war. Heading home Morelli and McGee decided to cut Russell out, literally, and after stabbing him and cutting his throat throw him overboard of a boat they are on. Morelli and McGee head back to the US where they begin to take over the criminal underworld. Also McGee moves in on Russell’s wife who wants no part of it. Meanwhile Russell ends up on a deserted island where he is rescued by two Japanese soldiers still hiding out after the Second World War. Nursing Russell back to health they end up teaching him how to wield a samurai sword. When Russell is rescued he then sets out to find his wife and get revenge on the guys who tried to kill him.

Crazy grindhouse fodder is wildly over long (it runs almost 2 hours) yet completely compelling. How this film spins out its crazy story keeps you staring at the screen with its wacked out turns as Russell and his Japanese rescuers play out a samurai version of the Karate Kid and Morelli and McGee do things that should get them killed instead of move them up the bad guy ladder. Typical it is not. Best of all the action isn’t bad.

As a grindhouse film fan I find it interesting to see an early pairing of Leon Isaac and Jayne Kennedy who had been married for several years. They would go on to make a few more films before divorcing. Leon is a bit uncontrolled in his role as McGee which is keeping with the character. Sadly Jayne is given little to do beyond a single song and being beat up by her real life husband.

The only real problem with the film is that the film runs close to two hours. While there is enough going on that the film remains interesting, the excitement level flags. There is enough plot material here for three films and its talky enough to make you think it was three films. Don’t get me wrong I like the film I just wish it was a bit peppier.

Worth a look. Out on DVD from Vingear syndrome

No comments:

Post a Comment